TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jhonas Enroth made 43 saves to spoil the return of Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Lightning 3-1 on Thursday night.
Stamkos had been sidelined since breaking his right shin Nov. 11 at Boston, causing him to miss 45 games. The center received a partial standing ovation during pregame introductions, when it was announced that he is the new team captain.
Right wing Ryan Callahan, acquired Wednesday from the New York Rangers for former Tampa Bay captain Martin St. Louis, made his Lightning debut.
Tyler Myers, Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson scored for the Sabres. Enroth stopped a combined seven shots by Stamkos (three) and Callahan (four) through two periods.
Tyler Johnson ended Enroth’s shutout bid with a short-handed goal at 17:31 of the third.
Myers put Buffalo up 1-0 when he beat Anders Lindback from the right circle 15:56 into the game. Lindback had been out since hurting his ankle on Jan. 30.
Foligno made it 2-0 with his first goal in 11 games at 9:25 of the second.
Tampa Bay’s Ondrej Palat hit the post during a power play with 8 minutes left in the second. Five minutes later, Teddy Purcell missed the net with a shot during a 2-on-1 off a pass from Stamkos, who then had his in-close shot go over the net in the final minute of the period.
It was just the eighth time this season that Buffalo has taken a lead into the third period.
The Sabres went up 3-0 on Hodgson’s goal with 6:16 to go in the third.
NOTES: The Lightning went 22-18-5 while Stamkos was out. … C Torrey Mitchell, obtained in a trade Wednesday with Minnesota, played his first game with the Sabres. Michal Neuvirth, acquired from Washington, was Buffalo’s backup goalie. … The Sabres announced that G Dominik Hasek will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony on March 29. … Lightning LW Ryan Malone, who has gone pointless in 12 consecutive games, was scratched.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.